From dawn to dusk, Hopper Boat Rentals fleet of small, maneuverable crafts weave past the sailboats and houseboats docked in the tree-lined Channel Islands Harbor. Though the compact vessels are easy to master, Hopper Boat Rentals’ aquatic experts still happily help customers suit up in provided lifejackets and then impart a brief tutorial on operating their vessel of choice. They then rent out their watercraft by the hour, allowing customers the freedom to enjoy a quick jaunt or a daylong quest to overthrow surrounding sandcastle fiefdoms.
For 10 years, Shoreline Pest Control’s bug-squashing technicians have been bravely standing up to termites, spiders, and other types of vermin with a comprehensive five-step elimination process. Technicians start by inspecting suspected areas of infestation, removing the pests’ food source, and identifying points of entry such as cracks, crevices, and microscopic doggy doors. Then professional-grade pesticides are applied conservatively in doses designed to be as people and pet friendly as possible. A follow-up monitoring program sees the techs returning to ensure home conditions are kept as unwelcoming as possible for creepy-crawly squatters. In addition to keeping indoor and outdoor areas free of infestation, Shoreline manages its own team of carpenters that specializes in repairing wood damaged by termites and fungus.
Warehouse Discount Center is primarily a purveyor of home appliances and plumbing wares, although it also hosts in-store cooking classes led by experienced chefs. Amidst an outside grilling theatre, using the finet equipment, Chef masters Craiger Van Zee and Chef JoAnn Hecht teach students the finer points of roasting, grilling, and preparing international dishes. Students are able to sample delicacies created and also take home a new set of culinary skills along with information packets.
Chef Craiger has been in the culinary business for more than four decades and heads up his own educational venture, To Grill or Not to Grill. He has taught more than 3,000 students how to sear and season on the barbeque and enjoys sharing his knowledge with groups of all sizes. Chef JoAnn comes from a teaching and catering background and tailors her classes to complement the seasons.
The rising sun bathes the expanse of turquoise water in a golden glow, and a lone figure breaks its still surface during her morning swim. So begins another day at the Ventura Aquatic Center, where meticulously maintained facilities and engaging programs coax swimmers of all ages into the refreshing depths. A 50-meter competition pool fields the backstrokes of lane swimmers, and a 25-meter recreation pool enables laid-back play sessions. Delighted squeals and giggles drift from the kids’ activity pool, where splashes of water keep little faces smiling and a pair of water slides facilitates high-speed entries. Throughout each day, a crew of American Red Cross–certified lifeguards patrols the premises to ensure the safety of all those frolicking in and around the pools.
Dedicated to educating and entertaining patrons, Ventura Aquatic Center’s seasoned instructors also host group and private swim lessons and water-safety classes. Synchronized-swimming lessons teach pupils the art of tandem movement, and lifeguard training prepares would-be rescuers for real-world rescue situations. Diving and water-polo teams unite players for in-pool athletics, and aquatic summer camps stave off the boredom and nostalgic re-readings of last year’s report cards inherent to the summer months.
Wet Feet Pools' technicians tend to the cleanliness and appearance of swimming pools in hotels, health clubs, and condominiums, so they have ample know-how when it comes to keeping homeowners' basins in mint condition. The team maintains, repairs, and even remodels waterworks including swimming pools, spas, and fountains. Services range from regular swimming-pool maintenance and handrail installation to fixture replacement and barnacle removal. A quality guarantee backs the company's work—if customers aren't utterly satisfied, Wet Feet Pools refunds the first month's service costs (minus equipment fees, if applicable).
Matilija Nursery yields seasonal crops of plants native to the Golden State and farther-flung environs—a stroll through the nursery’s rolling fields reveals such nonindigenous offerings as bearded irises that bloom in both spring and fall. Though the nursery has supplied Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties with flora since 1992, its in-house botanical specialists began to hybridize Pacific Coast irises only recently, and the resulting varieties have proven as colorful as a sailor's vocabulary. Befitting of those who work so close to the earth, the nursery’s staff supports eco-friendly practices and populates the gardens with noninvasive, low-water plants. Customers can browse an online plant-availability database that regularly features botanicals such as matilija poppies, manzanitas, and hummingbird sages capable of luring their hovering namesakes in for a long drink of nectar.